Duke ITAC - February 27, 2014 Minutes

Duke ITAC - February 27, 2014 Minutes

ITAC Meeting Minutes
February 27, 2014 Minutes

I. Announcements

Minutes were approved for 11/21/13, 12/5/13 and 1/16/14.

All non-business, non-law school students have been transferred to Office 365 and things appear to be going well.  Currently have about 14,000 users on Office 365.

NC NGEN (http://ncengine.net/) is continuing on in parallel to the Google Fiber work.  All schools (with the exception of Wake Forest) fall within the cities mentioned on Google’s short list.

 

II. Agenda Items

4:10 - 4:20 – Simplifying Electronic Identities at Duke, Richard Biever (5 minute presentation, 5 minute discussion)

What it is:  The Identity Management Team has recently concluded work to convert over 2700 accounts that previously had multiple electronic identities (one from OIT and one from DHTS).  This work ensures all faculty, staff and students have one single electronic identity here at Duke.

Why it’s relevant:  The IdM team will explain the significance of this project and how simplifying electronic ID’s adds value to the Duke community.

This project began last June.  350 applications were affected.  2 pilot groups in June and July.  355 people was the largest group changed at one time.  Isabel Taylor was the project manager for this project.  An advisory group was set up. 

Problems Encountered:

  • Password Sync Issues
  • MaestroCare – couldn’t switch to NetID, had to use DEMPO ID
  • Duke Medicine Engineering and Operations
  • Mac OS 10 issues – if not caught in time, the machine needed to be rebuilt

Questions and Comments:

There are about 70-75,000 users who now have a single electronic ID across Duke.

Were there any issues with email addresses?  Part of the conversion process was to determine where email was going and updating settings as needed.  We haven’t heard of any issues with mail not reaching anyone.

4:20 - 4:55 – Scholars@Duke, Julia Trimmer (20 minute presentation, 15 minute discussion)

What it is:  Scholars@Duke displays public web profiles to help local and global audiences learn about the activities of Duke faculty members.

Why it’s relevant:  Scholars@Duke has been rolled out to faculty in six Duke schools and will be expanded to all schools this spring. This presentation will provide details about the upcoming rollout.

The goal is to create a profile for all faculty at Duke that is easily accessible without needing to drill down on individual departmental pages.  The data is accessible to all schools and colleges for use on their pages.  Starting last May, this has been rolled out in 6 schools and since the last update in September it has been rolled out to the Divinity school.  Starting in March Trinity Arts and Sciences, Sanford and Law profiles will be added.  At that point all schools will be completed.

130 power users in departments have been trained with 20-30 more expected.   Lamont Cannon is the outreach coordinator and will be meeting with departments and doing demos.  Monthly user groups, Steering Committee.

Suggestions received from faculty groups:

  • Would like more options on search page
  • Research page is too generic, not good for browsing
  • Users want to be able to rearrange their profiles
  • Performance issues with large amounts of publications
  • Keyword functionality
  • Improve search for subject headings
  • Visualizations

DEMO of Scholars@Duke

Will load from FDS:  Overviews, photos, links, DFAC & SAP, publications

New section:  Artistic Scholarship = Publications/Grants, categorized by type, has to be entered manually, allows for collaborators (both internal and external), role, events

Some information can be edited:

  • Overview
  • Hide Publications graph
  • Add a delegate to edit for them
  • Geographic focus field
  • Keywords
  • Add/edit webpage
  • Add/edit photo

For information that can’t be directly edited, links and information will be provided about where the data comes from and how it can be updated.

Currently not able to push edits to SAP.

Timeline for the rest of the year:

  • Adding professional activities
  • Annual Reporting
  • Non-faculty profiles (complete by October)

Future Plans:

  • Connecting Scholars@Duke with Duke news stories
  • Link to the directory and other parts of Duke (e.g. Sakai)

Questions and Comments:

Do the artists feel that this meets their needs?  For the most part, yes.  They’ve given some feedback about adding new types and roles.

FDS is used only for the initial load and not done on a regular basis.

What is populated automatically vs requiring a faculty member or delegate to do manually?  A lot of the data comes from other systems (e.g. appointment, titles, classes, publications).  REACH NC data is also a source.

Problems with common names?  It’s possible, but we haven’t heard of any specific cases yet.  No false positives in medical field as of yet.  Possibility of faculty approval of newly detected data.

Annual Report will use Scholars data and will encourage faculty to update their profiles.

Global map that will be rolled out will use Scholars@Duke as a source.

Elements notifications, pending publications.

Is there an option to use only a faculty member’s list and not automatic?  Yes.

Is hyperlinking easy to do for existing publications?  It is easy to upload and hyperlink in Elements, but it is not as easy to link to documents stored elsewhere.

Is it possible to create reports of publications and grants from a faculty member’s profile?  Currently no, but reporting will be developed in the future that might allow for something like this.  Elements does this pretty well currently.

4:55 - 5:15 – ePrint, John Robinson - OIT, Leah Catotti and David Clancy (10 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is: The ePrint print management system enables you to print from your own computer to print stations distributed throughout campus, many available around the clock.

Why it’s relevant:  OIT has been collaborating with Students to identify ideas and solutions to improve the existing ePrint service. We will update ITAC on the progress to date and the next steps for improving the on campus printing solution.

Last year there was a group in the Nicholas School that did a class project surrounding the “greening” of printing on campus.  This project was picked up by the Duke Sustainability Office and the effort is now being spearheaded by the Students for Sustainable Living.

Current System:

  • 160+ ePrint stations across campus
  • $32 undergraduate quota per semester (approximately 1600 sheets), not rolled over to future semesters
  • Black and white is $.02 per page, both sides
  • Refilled in $10 increments on OIT webpage, overages are charged to the students’ Flex account
  • Color printing is separate at $.25 per page and charged directly to Flex accounts. This is not included in the proposal.
  • Last year 17 million sheets were used.  This is equivalent to 2100 trees.

Goals:

  • Reduce excessive black and white printing.
  • August 2012-August 2013 data was used
  • 3.1 million total sheets by undergraduates;  850,000 were printed over the hard cap (2000+ sheets)
  • The goal is to change behavior and not to make money

Recommendations:

  • Increase per sheet cost to $.04
  • Approximately 20% of students would be affected by this change
  • Remove allotment
  • Recycled paper (currently a cost deterrent) so savings from printing might support this initiative.

Approval Process:

  • SSL meeting with stakeholders, proposal developed
  • Filtered to Executive VP Dr. Trask, OIT Senior Management and Provost Peter Lange
  • GPSC general support, but the proposal does not currently affect graduate students

Communications Strategy:

  • Focus on environmental benefits
  • Pre-empting negative discussions by collecting feedback, bring to DSG and have op-ed published prior
  • Reach out to student groups, especially environmental-centered groups
  • Flyers for student groups:  send email to remind groups that they can request funding for advertising and that this will not be affected by this effort.
  • Reach out to professors:  e.g. online submissions.
  • Students would receive an email notifying them of this change before it goes into effect
  • Aligns with Carbon Neutrality by 2024, harness students’ competitiveness.
  • Creation of an informational webpage dedicated to these changes

Comparison with other universities:

  • Duke has a high starting quota and low cost per sheet.  Account refills are unlimited.  With the recommended changes, Duke will be more in line with what other universities are currently doing.

Questions and Comments:

In the past, recycled paper was jamming the printers frequently.  Is this still a problem?  Doesn’t seem to be at this time.

Is there any benefit of getting rid of quotas entirely since that’s what other universities seem to be doing?  There might be the possibility of this in the future, but the students are worried that this would be too drastic of a change right now.  The students like the current ePrint system.

How was 20% chosen?  It was a best guess based on the data they had at the time.  They wanted the highest page saved benefit possible while at the same time affecting as few students as possible.

Messaging to faculty regarding using Sakai and digital materials?  Part of the information campaign for the students will be to encourage them to use their laptops to pull up documents in Sakai during classes, informing them of good apps for taking notes, highlighting, etc. to curb printing of documents that are only needed for short periods of time.  Some professors are limiting students from bringing in laptops and require paper hand-ins so there should be some outreach done to encourage the use of digital means.

Has the DSG been approached yet?  Yes, one member has been approached, but he was a member of an environmental group so his support was expected.

5:15 - 5:30 – Clockworks, Mark McCahill (10 minute presentation, 5 minute discussion)

What it is:  The Clockworks application automates creation of customized virtual machines in the datacenter so that Linux and Windows servers can be deployed in minutes rather than days.

Why it’s relevant:  OIT system administrators began using Clockworks last Fall to standardize the configuration and management of VM servers.  This spring, OIT will begin piloting college and departmental access to Clockworks for both general-purpose VMs and environments optimized for securely handling sensitive data. This will increase Duke's agility and flexibility for deploying and managing applications.

Current schemes:

  • VCL has been around for a long time and is geared toward coursework, projects that are time-dependent
  • VM Manage is for projects that exist for longer periods of times, typically a semester or two

The goal:  Form-driven process for creation of VMs intended for permanent projects used by departments.  This aids in standardization and consistency across systems.  Customization will still be possible, and this can be done via Service Now.  VMs used to take up to 2 weeks to create and configure, but with Clockworks all the configuration can be done in 30 minutes or less so it’s a huge time savings.

For researchers and sensitive data, the request is sent to the IT Security Office for approval.  This requires a one-time setup, but after that Clockworks can be used to build and configure servers quickly.

Network folks have been developing smaller sub-networks that can be utilized by different groups and secured apart from other servers on the network.  Currently the network sizes are Small (2 VMs), Medium (11 VMs) and Large (27 VMs).

Demo of Clockworks

Timeline:

  • OIT has been using Clockworks internally since Fall and has been working now. 
  • Currently working toward department administered VMs, allowing modifications to existing VMs, secure VMs. 
  • In the future, would like to have an embedded cost calculator so that requestors can see what they will be billed and dynamic provisioning for university workloads.

Questions and Comments:

Is there the possibility of installing a suite of applications on these machines?  Yes.  Puppet on Linux and SCCM for Windows can deploy the apps.

Is there concern that in standardizing, the process might become too rigid and unchangeable with regarding to technology changes?  OIT managed systems are subject to the application stack supported by OIT, but self-administered systems, it’s up to the users to run whatever they want on their systems. 

How do you accommodate varying application stacks?  Linux solutions currently available are Linux Containers (LXC)[1] and Docker[2].  This makes moving things around from system to system much easier because applications and libraries are “contained” using these technologies.  Similar to what Bitnami does with VM Manage (exports of entire machine).  The mix and pre-built stacks with Bitnami are changing regularly along with technology.

[1] https://linuxcontainers.org/

[2] https://www.docker.io/